KRA yet to supply Housemart Co. Director with documentary evidence in tax default case

Housemart Company Director Ye Wei before a Nairobi court where he denied tax default charges

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is yet to supply the defense team of Chinese businessman Ye Wei with witness statements and documentary evidence to be relied on in the tax default case against him.

The parties appeared before Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot where the matter was being mentioned for the first time after Wei was charged and pleaded not guilty to several offenses of tax default amounting to millions of shillings.

The matter will be mentioned on 13th November to confirm whether the defense will have been supplied with the said documents.

Ye Wei, the director of Housemart Company limited was charged alongside the firm with four counts of defaulting in an obligation imposed under a tax law.

The court heard that on diverse dates 1st January 2016 and 30th June 2017 within the Republic of Kenya, jointly with others not before court, willfully defaulted to pay Sh 583,353,575 being income tax payable to the Commissioner of domestic taxes.

He is also accused of failing to pay Sh 154 million tax for 1st January 2017 and 30th June 2018 and another Sh 85, 082, 282 for 1st January 2015 and 30th June 2016.

Between 20th January 2016 and 20th December 2017, he is charged with defaulting to pay Sh 3, 232,584.773.

He denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi who granted him a bond of Sh 2million or alternative cash bail of Sh 1 Million.

The matter will be heard on 21st November 2018.

At the same time, KRA wants the High Court to set aside orders suspending the decision to freeze Chinese firm accounts over Sh 2.2 billion tax arrears.

According to the taxman, the company, whose owners and directors are foreigners has no known assets in Kenya and if the orders are not set aside and the funds siphoned, they will have nothing to hold on to.

KRA argues that Housemart has been under declaring sales and claiming input VAT fraudulently thereby suppressing the tax payable.

It is KRA’s argument that if the orders are not reviewed, it is prejudicial and will have denied the Commissioner of Investigation and Enforcement, Commissioner of customs and Excise and KRA an opportunity to preserve the funds to secure taxes.